Sufferers who eat rye bread that is low in the so-called FODMAPs (fermentable oligo- di- and mono-saccharides) experience fewer and less painful symptoms, such as abdominal pains, diarrhea or constipation.
Researchers from the University of Helsinki gave two types of rye bread—the standard loaf and the FODMAPs version—to 87 IBS sufferers over a four-week trial, switching the two breads halfway through the experiment.
The standard rye bread caused all the usual symptoms, but they were milder when they ate the FODMAPs bread. However, to be completely symptom-free, the researchers reckon that IBS sufferers would have to follow a very strict diet that excludes fruits and grains.
But as fibre is an essential part of everyone’s diet—and as the IBS sufferer eats far too little of it—the modified rye loaf may be one way for them to get more of this staple.